Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Orso: A Certified Standout On B'way's Restaurant Row

If you've been to Broadway more than a few times you probably know about New York's Restaurant Row.
Restaurant Row, on 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue, describes itself as "the quintessential example of everything that makes the Crossroads of the World unique." Every restaurant here is convenient to almost every theater on the Great White Way. 
There are nearly 30 eateries on Restaurant Row covering every possible cuisine and encompassing whatever dining atmosphere suits your taste. And these places can be jammed before and after showtime so it's wise to plan ahead and make reservations as well.
Among all these dining spots and watering holes a few definitely stand out.
One of them is surely Orso.
We dined at Orso during our most recent Broadway outing and we were very pleased.
Orso is at the beginning of The Row (closer to 8th Avenue) and next door to the favorite haunt of actors, Joe Allen.
You step down a few steps from the sidewalk to enter Orso's long, narrow, almost grotto-like atmosphere. A small bar sits to your right and then a few rows of tables in two cozy rooms. 
Service is prompt, friendly and helpful.
And while Orso's menu changes from day to day, you will find soups, salads, flatbreads, pizzas, pastas,  fish, chicken and beef dishes along with tempting desserts. Entrees range from $14 (a small pasta Bolognese) to $34 (oven-roasted quail stuffed with sausage).
But let's show you the restaurant and the food (just as it was presented) so you'll know exactly what we're talking about.

No flashy entranceway. This place is so well-known it doesn't have to brag or go out of its way to announce itself.

The mixed greens (above) and the arugula salad (below). Lovingly prepared, fresh and crisp.

The seared halibut topped with grapefruit slices over a bed of risotto with peas and lemon zest (above) proved to be a delightful medley of flavors.  The halibut was among the best we've ever tasted. The grilled swordfish (below) with pan roasted vegetables, lemon, olives and capers delighted a discriminating seafood enthusiast.

Regrettably, we did not have time for dessert but (as you can see) our meal at Orso was very memorable -- and for all the right reasons.
We will be back!
Photos copyright 2013 by Dan Cirucci.

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